Feb. 24, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - Stanford sophomore Amanda Spinner, out more than two years with a knee injury, earned her first collegiate victory to highlight Stanford’s performance in a 196.300-196.100 women’s gymnastics loss to No. 5 Utah before 14,756 at the Huntsman Center on Friday night.
Spinner, a Bay Area native from Danville, overcame a series of surgeries to return to competition and was competing in her third collegiate meet when she scored a 9.875 to tie for first on the balance beam.
No. 12 Stanford (7-3) also got two victories from Ashley Morgan, who tied teammate Nicole Pechanec on the uneven bars (each 9.850) and won the floor exercise at 9.90. Teammate Nicole Dayton also earned a 9.90 score, tying Stanford’s best score this season on vault, to place second.
“It was a great competition and a great crowd,” Stanford coach Kristen Smyth said. “This team really rises up.”
Stanford led 98.175-98.100 after the first two rotations. Opening on bars, the Cardinal stuck five of six dismounts. On the vault, the entire Cardinal lineup took on 10.0 start values for the first time this season.
Dayton hit her 9.900 as the anchor on vault, and stuck a blind landing. It was her third 9.9 this season.
“We’re increasing the difficulty, getting healthy, and upgrading our skills,” Smyth said. “Overall, it was a nice step forward, but with a lot of room to improve.”
Utah (6-1) pulled away with its performance on the balance beam to take the lead for good on the third rotation, while Stanford was penalized twice for going out of bounds on the floor exercise and had a fall as well.
But the Cardinal rebounded with a strong finish on beam, tying its season best on that event with a 49.175 to cut the deficit to the final margin. Except for a fall, every other score was at least 9.800, including Spinner’s winner.
Stanford returns home Sunday to face Arizona and California in a 2 p.m. Senior Day meet at Burnham Pavilion.
Final team scores:
Individual winners and Stanford scores:
All-Around: 1, Stephanie McAllister (Utah) 39.000. Stanford: Ashley Morgan 38.775.
Records: Stanford 7-3, Utah 6-1.